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New Horse

Looking to own a horse? Here are some tips you mind find useful as you get to know your four hooved friend.

The following are a few tips that you might find useful as you get to know your new horse.


Every horse is now legally obliged to have a passport and be microchipped. A vaccination certificate will not suffice for this purpose. Within 30 days of purchase you are required to send the passport to the organisation that issued it, so that you can be entered as the new owner both on the passport and in the Central Equine Database.

If a passport does not accompany the horse it is essential that you apply for one straight away. Depending on breed etc. we will advise you on the most appropriate place to obtain a passport for your new horse. We will check for a microchip, and if one is not found, we will insert one.


From 1st October 2020 every horse in the UK must be microchipped. Check the passport to see if one has been inserted, and bear in mind it may appear as transponder code. If not, let us know and we will insert one.


Although an additional expense on top of the purchase price of the horse, the importance of ensuring some form of insurance cover cannot be overstated. Approximately one in three policies are subject to a claim recovering veterinary fees every year. In other words, if you own your new horse for three years it is likely that you will make at least one veterinary fees claim during this period. The cost of colic surgery, a lameness investigation or even the treatment of a minor injury can be substantial. On average, major colic surgery will cost between £5000 and £7000.


Unless we already have done this for you, check that the vaccination status is correct. If there are no vaccinations in your horse’s passport, it is safest to assume that they have not been correctly vaccinated, if at all, and a vaccination course should be started without delay. If vaccinations are in the passport, check that they have been done correctly at the appropriate time intervals. These are:

· Initial primary course of two injections four to six weeks apart (three weeks to three months is permissible)

· First booster for flu and tetanus should be at six months (five to seven months permissible) or at 12 months (if tetanus vaccine only was given at the primary vaccination)

· Subsequent boosters should be annual for flu or every two years for tetanus

If you are unsure whether or not your horse has been properly vaccinated please phone the clinic. For general advice on vaccination you can read our vaccination factsheet.


Where possible you should establish from the seller when the horse was last wormedand what worming drug was used. General advice on worm control can be found in our worming factsheet.


It is worth obtaining from the seller the name and telephone number of the farrier who has previously been shoeing the horse in order that any information on particular shoeing issues, for example frequency of shoeing or the types of shoes tried before, can be passed on to your own farrier.


All horses five years old and upwards should have their teeth checked annually by your vet and any necessary remedial action taken. Enquire from the seller when they were last examined.

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